School Psychologist Program
What is a School Psychologist?
School psychologists provide both direct and indirect services to students as well as to teachers and administrators to help promote supportive and positive school-wide learning environments for all students. Students nowadays are confronted with so many challenges in their lives that can be overwhelming.School psychologists team up with families and educators in order to help all students meet and overcome those challenges in a healthy, safe, and supportive school environment.
School psychologists provide services that improve students’ academic achievement as well as their emotional and behavioral needs. Here are a handful of services that we provide:
- Improve Academic Achievement
- Conduct psychological and academic assessments to determine students’ learning needs and abilities
- Promote student motivation and engagement
- Provide support for individualized instruction and interventions
- Monitor individual student progress in academics and behavior
- Collect and interpret student and classroom data
- Provide support in improving classroom management strategies
- Promote Positive Behavior and Mental Health
- Improve student communication and social skills
- Assess student emotional and behavioral needs
- Provide individual and group counseling
- Promote positive coping skills and resilience
- Support Diverse Learners
- Assess diverse learning needs
- Support the use of culturally-responsive services and interventions to students from diverse backgrounds
- Help plan appropriate Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students with disabilities
- Create Safe, Positive School Climates
- Support social-emotional learning
- Implement school-wide positive behavioral supports
- Identify at-risk students and assess school climate
- Strengthen Family-School Partnerships
- Help families understand their child’s learning, social, and emotional needs
- Help families navigate the special education processes
- Help students transition between school and community learning environments
- Improve School-Wide Assessment and Accountability
- Monitor individual student progress
- Plan services at the district, building, classroom, and individual levels
Who are your local School Psychologists?
We have two local school psychologists who work for the school district. Let’s meet them!
Courtney has worked for our school district since 2004. She began her career with us as a certified school counselor and diagnostician, officially obtaining her degree and certification in School Psychology in 2010 from the University of Northern Colorado. She loves what she does, especially the ability to work closely with so many different people who contribute so greatly to the students’ overall well-being and learning abilities, including the students themselves, their family members, as well as the various school staff members involved in their learning. Courtney appreciates how beneficial family-school connections are and works collaboratively to strengthen those partnerships by helping family members and educators stay connected to the child’s learning needs and special education procedures. She describes every day as a new experience and loves how she is able to get to know the students and everyone involved in their lives.
Cheyenne began her career with our school district in 2015 as an intern, becoming a full-time employee and certified school psychologist in 2016. She obtained her graduate degree from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. Cheyenne describes getting to know each student on an individual basis as the best part of being a school psychologist. She loves spending time with each student because she is able to discover their strengths, weaknesses, and what they enjoy doing and can then apply those aspects to how they best learn and cope in school. Furthermore, by working with the students, Cheyenne also is able to get to know school staff members better, which she expressed is another favorite aspect of her job and working in our school district.
School Psychology Programs
School psychology programs require a minimum of three years of full-time, advanced graduate study in both psychology and education coursework of at least 60 graduate semester hours. Programs can also be offered on a part-time basis, with a few now being offered as online programs, such as through Fort Hays State University. Four of the required credit hours must entail a year-long (1,200 hours) supervised internship experience within a school district. School psychologists first earn a Master’s Degree in School Psychology after 30 credit hours in the graduate-level program. Upon completion of the remaining credits and internship experience, they will earn the Educational Specialist Degree in order to being their professional career as a School Psychologist.
Upon graduating with their degree, school psychologists must be credentialed by the state in which they work. They also have the ability to apply to meet nationally recognized standards, receiving a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential. Holding this certification demonstrates their commitment to upholding the highest levels of professionalism, ethical practice, and dedication to continuing their professional development in their field.All three of your local school psychologists hold their NCSP certification and are committed to a high standard of practice for our students, families, school personnel, and our community!